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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Century Scrambling to Fill Second 24H Spa Entry

Second Bronze Cup entry for reigning British GT champions Century Motorsport in jeopardy after driver lineup pulls out…

Photo: BMW

Century Motorsport has been left scrambling to find a replacement driver lineup for a second Bronze Cup entry for the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa after the original driver combination fell through, according to team principal Nathan Freke.

In addition to its full-season Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup effort for Darren Leung, Toby Sowery and reigning Formula E world champion Jake Dennis, Freke revealed to Sportscar365 that the team successfully managed to acquire a second entry for the Belgian endurance classic.

A four-man lineup, set to compete in Bronze Cup, had been in place as part of a deal agreed in December, only for plans to fall through at late notice.

“Basically, we pulled all sorts of strings to get an entry because it was full,” Freke said.

“At the last minute they basically bailed out because one of the drivers has got some business issues and they’ve sort of forfeited the entry.

“But the entry’s been paid and it’s in. So, just the fact we pulled so many strings to try and get an entry, it just seems a shame to forgo it, really.”

Freke stated that the team is pushing “full throttle” to ensure a two-car presence at Spa, with the aim of putting together another lineup eligible of competing in Bronze Cup.

Century is set to make its first outing in the 24H Spa, having won the British GT Championship with Leung and Dan Harper last year.

Former racer turned team principal Freke described Century’s participation in the event as “the next logical thing” after it has been a consistent presence in British GT since it debuted in 2009.

It ran Ginetta machinery in GT4 for the first number of years. After a first venture into GT3 with the British brand in 2017, it switched to running BMW a year later.

“It’s been on our to-do list for quite some time now,” Freke said about the 24H Spa.

“We obviously had a very successful last year. We did the GT World Challenge with Darren [Leung], and it just seemed like the time is right.

“We need to make that step, and we did Dubai at the start of the year. Obviously finished first in Pro-Am and third overall and it’s just the next logical thing for us to do.

“And I guess because I put some pressure on SRO to get the entry, A, I don’t want to lose face, and B, I don’t want to squander the opportunity because next time you do the same thing, it’s not going to swing your way probably, because you’ve already called your favours in, if you like.”

Although Century is debuting in the 24H Spa this year, Freke says the team will be banking on its experience in the Hankook 24H Dubai.

“We’ve done Dubai since 2016. We’ve run two cars regularly there, albeit not GT3s. We actually ran three cars in Dubai [this year] with two GT3s and a GT4.

“So structural-wise and logistics-wise, it’s something we’re not unused to. Yes, it’s a big undertaking, and yes, Spa is a more prestigious race, but ultimately, a 24-hour race is a 24-hour race.

“The objective is to keep the car reliable, keep the mechanicals running well, obviously keep the drivers out of any incidents and just do a tidy job on the rest of it.

“So from a team point of view, I think we’re more than ready for it.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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